THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK FROM DAVID LENNOX
“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Proverbs 18:24 (Read Hebrews 1: 1- 12)
Lockdown this time is different in many ways to the last time. The number of people out walking along the sea front is no different to normal. Two ladies who walk each day stand out. They are always dressed exactly the same, even the same back packs. They are identical twins. Recently they had an addition - two identical dogs. It could be said that one lady was the “spittin image” of the other.
The satirical TV programme “Spittin’ Image” has returned to our screens. The first known use of the English phrase “spitting image” was in the 1901 novel Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch by Alice Rice. In her book a character says, “He’s jes’ like his pa - the very spittin’ image of him!” But what does “spitting image” mean? For centuries, versions of the phrase evolved, all involving spittle as a measure of likeness. The earliest versions suggested one person was so like another, it was if he was spat out of the other’s mouth - meaning almost identical.
The Bible uses less earthy, but no less intimate terms to describe Jesus’ likeness to His own heavenly Father: “all the fullness of the Godhead” dwells “bodily” in Jesus. All of God was present in Jesus’ physical incarnation. There was nothing of God that was not manifest in Jesus. That is an even greater likeness than a human child who looks and acts ‘jes’ like his pa.” The writer to the Hebrews used different terms: Jesus is “the brightness of [God’s] glory and the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:3). This likeness is critical to Christian theology and experience. As we approach advent we thank God for Jesus being God in the flesh.
It’s also the desire of a Christian to be more like Jesus. We may not appear to be the “spittin’ image” but our prayer is to be more like Him and closer each day to Him. Closer than a brother.
The story of Jonathan and David in the Old Testament is well known. It is the story of two friends who illustrate the principle of Proverbs 18:24: friends who are closer than brothers. David and Jonathan weren’t related, yet they committed their lives and resources to one another. The basis for their friendship was the covenant they made with one another. In their day, a covenant was the strongest form of commitment. The parties would do whatever one another needed. They are so close that in many ways one is the “spittin image” of the other.
The word covenant is found in the New Testament, too. Jesus Christ initiated a “new covenant” with all who would believe in Him (Matthew 26:28).That is what we have in our relationship with Jesus - a covenant Friend who promises never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) and to meet our needs if we abide in Him and His words abide in us (John 15:7). In that way we become more Christ like
Jonathan said to David, “Whatever you yourself desire, I will do it for you” (1 Samuel 20:4). Jesus says the same to His covenant friends.
For in [Christ] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. Colossians 2:9
How good is the God we adore, our faithful, unchangeable Friend! Joseph Hart
PS If you would like to share a thought for the week please e mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
20 December 2020 All Age Service at 10.00am
Carol Service - available on line from 20 December
27 December 2020 Worship in Song
HAPPY RETIREMENT DAWN!! Dawn Gott is retiring this month after 12 years as our Caretaker at WBBC. The Church Leadership Team would like to express their sincere thanks to Dawn for her dedication and many years of faithful service. We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing Dawn all the very best in her retirement and every happiness in the years ahead. Our heartfelt thanks to you Dawn from your church family at WBBC.
WARMEST CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS HARGREAVES AND HIS BEAUTIFUL BRIDE LAURA FOLLOWING THEIR RECENT WEDDING AT WBBC.
We are starting to work on producing a new church directory.
If you are not in the present directory and would like to be added or if any of your contact details have changed please email Carol at email@example.com or call the church office on 0191 253 7561 ASAP. Alternatively if you no longer wish to be included, please let Carol know as soon as possible.
PASTORAL CONCERNS Should you have any pastoral concerns that would normally be directed to the Pastor please contact Lynne Gradwell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to everyone who recently contributed a shoe box to the Operation Christmas Child appeal. A fantastic total of 72 gift filled boxes were received by Marion and Crispian Oates in person & online on behalf of Whitley Bay Baptist Church and will soon be winging their way to brighten a needy child’s Christmas and spread the love of Jesus!
Paul and Gill were presented with the gift collected by our church family at WBBC last Wednesday. The total amount collected was £2,784. They were given lifetime joint National Trust membership and a cash gift. The gift presentation can be viewed at: https://youtu.be/yHXCz-HYE1A (4 minutes long). Please also see Paul & Gill’s letter of thanks below:
To All Our Friends at Whitley Bay Baptist Church
It is exactly two weeks today since we left the manse and moved to our new house in Amble, it has very quickly become our home and rooms have gradually taken shape as the piles of boxes have decreased. We even discovered we had a dining table a couple of days ago!! Paul’s books remain in the garage awaiting bookshelves. We have been able to walk and get to know the area a little better but the time of year, weather and Covid make it difficult to meet with other people.
The purpose in writing this brief message is to express our overwhelming sense of gratitude for your most generous gift on retirement and leaving Whitley Bay. This was presented to us at the church by Stuart and Pauline Grant last Wednesday. Life Membership of the National Trust is something we have wished for several times over the years and is a privilege for which we are deeply grateful. The additional financial gift came as a total surprise that will be spent on our new home.
We are only sorry that it has not proved possible to arrange ‘a bit of a do’ to say farewell but as a nation we all share in the current restrictions for the common good. Nor at the moment can we say drop in and see us at any time, but the invitation is there once we have reached better times again. We thank God for his love and grace which are carrying us forward in seeking his will for the future both for you at Whitley Bay and us here in Amble.
With love and prayer
Paul & Gill Newman
Bay Foodbank You can donate items in Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s or Asda or online at email@example.com. They are especially in need of tinned meat, hotdogs and meat in gravy.
PLEASE REMEMBER IN PRAYER
Esther who is now in remission from Leukaemia and also for Ian, Eleanor & Nathan.
Liz Hails for a full recovery from a brain hemorrhage. Some good news: her feeding tube is out and she is making some headway with her physiotherapy!
CLT & the Search Team as they continue the process to appoint a Team Leader.
Christine Hodgson and family following Christine’s Parkinson’s diagnosis.
Kate Bowie who is receiving treatment for Myelodysplastic anaemia.
All those working in Parish Nursing and our Pastoral Care Team.
The Spears & Shrubsole families working with BMS at Guinebor 2 Hospital in Chad and Brian and Jackie Chilvers joining the team in January 2021.
Lucy, David & baby Sophie Morrison and their mission work in Chad.
Tom who has body dysmorphia, lives alone & is very low. Pray for healing, that his medication is right & constant & for his family as they support him.
Eric Gradwell who is going into hospital for a knee replacement on 2 December - pray for a successful operation and no infection.
John Sayer & family following the recent sudden death of John’s dad.
Those within our Church Family who have serious medical needs or are going through a difficult time but do not wish them to be shared. The Lord Jesus knows who they are and their need of healing, please seek him asking that they be made whole.
You can find the link to the videocast via the home page.
You will need to bring your own tea, coffee, whatever . . . You are invited to this scheduled Zoom Meeting:
Details of log on are in the Church Bulletin. If you do not get the Bulletin and would like to then please contact the Church Office Church Office
OUR BUILDING MAY BE CLOSED BUT OUR CHURCH IS ALIVE! If you’re an activity/ministry leader we’d love to hear how you’re keeping in touch with your groups or how your work is continuing during the pandemic. To contribute an update please email Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org